African students in US, increase! The overall number of African students hit a record high at 37,735 studying in U.S. universities.

The latest “Open Doors” report on international education reveals that the United States hosted 1.08 million international students during the 2016 – 2017 academic year. This marks a 3% increase over the prior year. There were increases in the number of students from 18 of the top 25 places of origin – Nigeria (the only African nation in the top 25) was up 9.7%.


International students contributed more than $39 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce – a large increase over the previous year’s total of $35 billion. So, as African students in U.S. increase, so does the U.S. economy!

Open Doors 2017 reports that about 2/3s of all international students receive the majority of their funds from sources outside of the United States, including personal and family sources as well as assistance from their home country governments or universities. Students from around the world who study in the United States also contribute to America’s scientific and technical research and bring international perspectives into U.S. classrooms, helping prepare American students for global careers…basically, African students don’t just ‘flip burgers’ after school!


There are currently 3,111 Ghanaian students enrolled at more than 630 universities across the United States. Ghana is the 3rd-largest sender of students from Africa, after only Nigeria (11,710 students) and Kenya (3,189 students). Undergraduates make up 38% of those at U.S. universities and colleges. Graduate students make up 45%, out of which 42% are enrolled in doctorate programs. The remainder are in student status while in optional practical training or are enrolled in non-degree programs.

The five most popular U.S. states for Ghanaian students are Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Texas. The two most popular institutions are Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, which has 57 Ghanaian graduate students and four undergraduate students, and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has 52 undergraduate students from Ghana alone.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s strong universities attract 20,000 students from other African countries. In addition, 1,564 American students engaged in a credit-bearing program in Ghana in the 2015/2016 academic year, the most recent year for which numbers are available. This makes Ghana the 2nd most popular African destination for American exchange students, after only South Africa.

NOTE: Africans interested in studying in the United States are encouraged to visit the U.S. government-sponsored EducationUSA)

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